India Cements Jan-Mar results beat forecast

India Cements Jan-Mar results beat forecast
Published: 20 April 2007

Cements Ltd. posted a net profit of 1.4 billion rupees in January-March compared to 270.3 million rupees a year ago, riding on high volumes and cost efficiency, a senior official said on Friday.  
  
The total income during the period increased to 5.78 billion rupees against 4.24 billion rupees a year ago.  
 
"We’ve had excellent cost control and blending has also increased which also helps reduce costs," Managing Director N. Srinivasan told Reuters from the southern city of Chennai.  
 
He also said the company’s capacity utilisation has been 100 percent and had resulted in sales rising 3.5 percent.  
 
India Cements’ current annual production capacity is 9 million tonnes and it is undergoing a brownfield expansion which will take its production up by another 2 million tonnes annually, Srinivasan said.  
 
He also said prices are expected to be firm during the year to March 2008. "We expect this year to be better than last year," he said.  
 
Last month the federal government, concerned about high inflation, forced cement companies to forgo any price rises for a year even if input costs such as power and logistics went up.  
 
It also removed duties to help imports and bring domestic prices down. "We dont see any threat from imports," Srinivasan said.  
 
Industry sales volume rose an estimated 7-7.5 percent in January-March from the same period of the previous year, while cement prices jumped nearly a quarter amid rising investment in infrastructure such as roads, malls and houses.